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Bryn Martin's record night propels Springboro to Division I state semifinal win over Pickerington Central

Bryn Martin scored an OHSAA Division I state tournament record 38 points in a win over Pickerington Central

DAYTON, Ohio - Bryn Martin had just one thing on her mind Friday night. The Springboro junior wanted to be in game mode.

"Outside of the court I feel like I am very lighthearted," Martin said. "But when it's game mode, it's game mode for me and it's like that every single game."

Game mode on Friday night for Martin was to score a new OHSAA Division I state tournament record with 38 points as Springboro defeated Pickerington Central 63-54 in an OHSAA Division I state semifinal at the University of Dayton Arena.

At times, the 6-foot-1 Ms. Ohio Basketball finalist simply took over the game.

With Springboro trailing 13-7 late in the first quarter, Ava Wade scored and then the game was in the hands of Martin, who finished and drew a foul with 23 seconds left in the first to bring the Panthers to within one at 13-12 after the first quarter.

In the second quarter, the Bryn Martin Show was in full effect, as she scored the first six points and 12 of the first 16 as Springboro pulled out to a 24-17 lead. She scored multiple ways, making a pair of layups, a 3-pointer and hitting all five of her free throw attempts.

Through 16 minutes, Martin had 17 points and five rebounds, helping the Panthers to a 27-17 halftime edge.

"She's the exact same way in practice," Springboro senior Chloe Downing said. "She's the reason that we get better every single day in practice. She pushes us and we know what we have to do to get each other better and get her better and she just pushes us to our fullest potential."

Springboro's Bryn Martin prepares to shoot a free throw against Pickerington Central in an OHSAA Division I state semifinal game on March 15, 2024.

Springboro's Bryn Martin prepares to shoot a free throw against Pickerington Central in an OHSAA Division I state semifinal game on March 15, 2024.

She didn't stop there.

Martin scored 13 more in the third, including back-to-back 3-pointers midway through the quarter to give the Panthers an 11-point lead.

After the Tigers cut the lead to 46-43 in the fourth quarter, it was Martin who cut baseline, received a pass and finished to make it 48-43 with 4:40 to play.

Martin then got help in one of the game's biggest moments, as Downing hit a 3-pointer and a layup to stretch the lead back to six after Pickerington Central had cut it to one at 50-49.

"I've been working on my shot with one of our coaches," Downing said. "He was like we need a three out of you. We need you to make the big plays. They collapsed on Bryn, it was open and I just knew that I had to take that shot in order to get some momentum going."

After Pickerington Central got within three again, Martin hit a pair of free throws with 1:23 left, the first giving her the new record for most points scored in a Division I state tournament semifinal or final. She hit another pair with 38.5 left to give the Panthers a nine-point lead and ice the game.

Martin wasn't nervous at the line because she had put in the work.

"I would say preparation, getting up at 5:30 in the morning, going to the gym and shooting and staying out in the gym until 10:30 at night to shoot," Martin said. "Just trust your preparation and everything will fall into place and so that's something I mainly focus on. 

While Martin was the player setting a record on Saturday night, it was all about the team for her.

"My teammates did a great job of getting me open, they saw that I was hot, they set me amazing screens," Martin said.  "And kudos to them, they worked really hard today. And you know, it wasn't just me playing out there. It was a team effort. And I'm very proud of every single one of them." 

Springboro now gets a date with Olmsted Falls in the Division I state championship game on Saturday night at 8:30.

"We're not satisfied, we are still very hungry," Springboro head coach Mike Holweger said. "We will do everything we can to close this thing out."

-- Ryan Isley | | @sbliveoh